PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP)– A section of electrical conduit fell from the roof of a Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnel, crashed through a windshield of a truck and struck the driver in the head, killing him, police said.

The truck driven by Howard Sexton III, 70, of Mickleton, New Jersey, continued on for a mile after being struck around 6 p.m. Wednesday inside the Lehigh Tunnel, state police said. Sexton was already dead when troopers and turnpike maintenance workers reached his truck on the shoulder of the highway.

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A Turnpike commission spokesman told CBS3 in a statement their investigation is continuing and it was too early to pinpoint why the conduit detached from the ceiling.

A spokesperson for Raymour & Flanigan identified Sexton as one of their drivers.

“Howard was traveling from our northern Pennsylvania warehouse with a trailer of furniture and mattresses last night, going south on I-476 through the Lehigh tunnel when a beam of metal that is used to hold up lights in the tunnel separated from the ceiling and went through the front windshield of the cab killing Howard,” the company said in a statement.

“I got the call at work that he was killed. It was very difficult because my uncle has always meant a lot to me,” said Debbie Elliot, who is Sexton’s niece.

She says her uncle was a family man and she’s trying to remember the good times.

“Always smiling. Always laughing. Just fun loving, good-natured. A lot of fun,” said Elliot remembering her uncle. “We’re hoping for some answers on how this could happen. How this freak accident actually happened.”

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Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim described the conduit as a large pipe, and said other vehicles were damaged by it.

The conduit came loose in the southbound tunnel, a 4,500-foot (1,371-meter) tube that opened in November 1991.

DeFebo said the Lehigh Tunnel’s southbound tube is the only tunnel in the system in which electrical conduit is directly above drivers. In older tunnels, the pipes are located with ventilation equipment in a parallel utility tunnel above the roadway.

He said the tunnel’s most recent inspection occurred in September 2016. The agency in December sought bids to replace Lehigh Tunnel lights, with work expected to begin this spring.

The tunnel is located near Slatington, north of Allentown.

Grim’s office has notified Sexton’s next-of-kin and an autopsy is planned for Friday.

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Raymour & Flanigan says Sexton has worked for the company since 2001 and “will be missed terribly.”